Tech Trek Science and Math Camp for Girls

Tech Trek is a week-long science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on the Stanford University campus, where the camp is held.

Since the first camp at Stanford in 1998, AAUW-OML has sent 84 Lamorinda middle school girls to Tech Trek camp. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields. Based on a study published by AAUW, Solving the Equation, The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, in less than 10 years the United States will need 1.7 million more engineers. Yet women represent only a small fraction of engineers today. Women are also underrepresented in the computer science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics fields.

Tech Trek Camp Scholarships

To encourage young women to pursue STEM careers, where women are currently underrepresented, AAUW-OML sends middle school girls interested in science and math to  Grace Hopper Tech Trek Camp on the campus of Stanford University.

These Tech trek scholarship winners (in photo above) returned from their week at the Grace hopper STEM camp on the Stanford University campus in July with glowing words about their experiences.

Mary Conklin, Ella Easley, Marianne Eichmann, Jada Hembrador, Liesel Hilkemeyer, Isabelle Katz, and Maya Martono were delighted with their special experiences bonding with “like-minded girls” who love science and math and seeing their future in a variety of possible STEM careers.

Tech Trek math/science camp is designed to encourage rising 8thgrade girls to persist with their excitement about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through high school, college, and into their careers. The program features numerous hands-on activities as well as a chance for the girls to make friends with other girls interested in STEM and to meet professional women in STEM fields.

This year, core classes at camp included Computer Coding and Cyber Sleuthing, as well as Marine Biology, CSI Forensics, and Aerospace Engineering.    At camp, the girls took apart computers, wrote computer code, dissected fish, went on a STEM hunt on campus, learned the physics of hand-made cars and went on field trips.  They stayed up to midnight looking through a variety of telescopes and talking with engaging amateur astronomers.  They “speed dated” to learn about the STEM careers of professional women.   They learned about structural engineering and build structures using rolled up newspapers.  And much more!

Some quotes from the girls:

“This camp has been a fun, amazing and life-changing experience that I will never forget.”

“Thanks to this opportunity, I can leave with more confidence and an even greater love for STEM.”

“Continue to inspire girls like me to pursue STEM careers!  And Tech Trek was one of the best weeks ever!”

These girls want to make this world a better place. They were chosen after a rigorous process of being nominated by their teachers, completing an application, and being interviewed by a team of three AAUW-OML members.

The Tech Trek Mission

aauw-oml-tech-trekkers-2016

AAUW Tech Trek, founded in 1998, is designed to help girls continue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math, (STEM) exploration and learning. Studies have shown that 68% of both boys and girls in fourth grade are naturally interested in science. But by eighth grade, this interest has dropped dramatically, especially for the girls.

That is why we feel it is important to support girls interested in science during the middle school years and to expose them to the careers available to women in science today. Many former Tech Trekkers, now in college or working, have told us that Tech Trek was one of the most influential personal or academic experiences of their middle school years. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields.

Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek

Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek Camp

AAUW-OML will be selecting seven more Tech Trek campers in the spring.  The cost is $1000 to send each girl to camp.

You can donate by:

  • Sending a check with your donation to the Branch treasurer.  Donations should be made out to the AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund. Please write “Tech Trek” on the memo line of the check.    Send your check to:  Peggy Cabiness, AAUW OML Treasurer, 743 Crossbrook Drive, Moraga, CA  94556
  • Making your donation on-line with your credit card at the following link:

https://oml-ca.aauw.net/tech-trek/

Donations made to Tech Trek as part of the AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund are tax-deductible.  The Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, EIN 38-3837745.

Thank you for supporting these outstanding young women and fostering their knowledge and confidence to pursue their interest in STEM!

Tax Information for Donations

Questions?

Tech Trek Girls Thank AAUW-OML

The Tech Trek girls had many “hands on” experiences at the Stanford Camp. The thank you notes sent by the OML Tech Trekkers are wonderful examples of the enthusiasm these girls have for science and math. A few brief sample comments from their detailed thank you letters follow:

  • “In the future, I plan on joining the STEM related clubs at my school. If it weren’t for Tech Trek, I would have been hesitant of joining, since there aren’t many girls. I just want to thank you again for all you have done. I really appreciate it.”
  • “Going to Tech Trek meant the world to me because it was exactly what I needed at the moment, a boost in learning about STEM professions, subjects, and teachers. I had so much fun at this camp and was exposed to many new ideas: robotics, professional women’s night, stargazing, the veterinarian presentation, Stanford blood lab for forensics…”
  • “This experience was life changing and meant a lot for me. I love how it focuses on young women who are passionate about science…after hearing about other women in STEM, I hope to pursue a career in these fields.”
  • “I probably had the best week in my life! My favorite activity was robotics. I really enjoyed it because we had the freedom to do programming any way we wanted to. Tech Trek will affect me in the future in many ways…When I am older I will definitely want a job that has to do with science…. I love Tech Trek!”
  • “Tech Trek is just so eye-opening and inspiring… The robotics class was taught very well, and I see myself trying and experimenting with robotics in the future. Thank you so much… It has changed my life in wonderful ways.”
  • “I have learned so much in just a few days… Listening to different women talk about their careers was a totally empowering experience, because it made me believe that I could make my dreams come true, too… Tech Trek has inspired me to want to go to Stanford after I graduate from high school. It is a tough college to get into, but Tech Trek has taught me the lesson that if you work hard enough for something, you will get it. I also plan to return as a junior or senior counselor… I truly appreciate the chance you have granted me and everyone at Tech Trek.”

Lockheed Martin Grant

Lockheed Martin invested in Tech Trek with a $90,000 grant to AAUW in 2015.  $40,000 helped the Association expand Tech Trek into a national program with 20 camps in 9 states. $50,000 added enrichment to four existing camps located near Lockheed Martin sites. The two camps held on campus at Stanford University—Camp Marie Curie and Camp Grace Hopper—each received $12,500. This was an unrestricted grant. Read the official press release for details.